Thursday, April 27, 2006

Marathon Training Update April 25-27

I did about 9K on Wednesday afternoon and even went to the gym on Wednesday evening around 11PM for an hour of some cross training. I've been doing so much running lately that I've lost interest in weight training altogether. I realize the importance of it but it's hard to fit it in to my schedule. I also feel that working at a gym has made it hard to be there when I don't HAVE to.
Nonetheless I'm going to try to do some cross training two times per week.
Today I ran about 17K in the morning. I've had to alter my running schedule slightly to fit into my work schedule so this has been my 4th consecutive day of running. I'm looking forward to taking tomorrow off.
I will be running a 10K race in London to support Eating Disorders. This cause is obviously close to my heart so I'm looking forward to running in this event. I'm not a big fan of 10K races but it will be nice chance to run a different route than I'm accustomed to.
It will also give me a chance to break in my new running shoes. Being the novice runner that I am, I've been need of new shoes for about a month or two. I've been told that a good running shoe will last about 600 kilometers. I've been running approximately 60-70K a week for the past 5 months........
I visited a great running store today and got some good words of wisdom about how to handle my first marathon race. Although the advice was well intentioned, it also scared me a little. These next few weeks are going to be very important and I'll need to make sure that my body is well conditioned and rested for the marathon.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Marathon training update April 24.06

This past weekend was the first time in my brief running career that I didn't run. After doing 16K in the Seaton trail on Friday I decided to take Saturday off and was going to do 30K on Sunday. However, the bleak weather and sore knees, ankles from running in the trails, seemed to affect my enthusiasm as I decided against doing my long run on Sunday.
I realized how quickly it is to get into a "funk" with regards to training and this can also happen when it comes to following a new way of eating. Over the weekend I had to fight the urge to keep myself motivated and this time I lost the battle. I'm sure I needed the extra rest but when you are on a "schedule" and get sidetracked, it's hard to justify why you didn't run/train or eat properly.
Instead of looking back, though, I decided to start the week off right by hitting the road once again. I told myself that I was going to run today NO MATTER WHAT and I ended up having fairly good 11K run in the middle of the afternoon. Those first few kilometers, though, were very hard and it would have been easy to turn around and quit. It's during these times that you must be strong enough within yourself to keep going. I used plenty of visualization during my run to keep myself from quitting and at the end I was glad I was able to complete my running goal.
The Mississauga Marathon is 3 weeks away so these are the weeks that are the toughest. I feel ready but I'm sure I'll be having these mini battles, with regards to motivation, up until race weekend.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Training update April 20-21/06

The weather was fantastic on Thursday the 20th and I ran 12K at about 7:30 AM. I pushed it a little harder and did some interval speed work. My average pace was a 5:10K.
Today I decided to hit the trails and did a combination of running and walking at the Seaton Trail for approximately 16K. For those of you who know this trail you understand just how technical (re:HARD) the terrain is. I'm always more sore after doing a trail run than a road race/run. Thankfully I'm taking tomorrow off and will do a long slow run on Sunday morning or afternoon.
I've been eating plenty of carbohydrates today to replenish my Glycogen levels in preparation for my long run on Sunday.
The average calories burned for my 12K runs are 1100.
I've run a total of 52K with another 30 planned for Sunday. Let's hope the weather co-operates.
I would not be able to withstand this amount of running without a sound nutritional plan. If you are interested in improving your health and/or are involved in a sports related activity and require some nutrition counseling contact me and let's get started.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Training Update April 17-19

This has been a very productive week and it helps that the weather has co-operated nicely. I'm seeing runners and cyclists everywhere which makes me realize that I'm not alone in my passion for improving my physical health.
I ran for 12 K on both Tuesday and Wednesday and burned just over 1000 kcal's. Those winter runs are starting to pay dividends now as my speed seems to be increasing now that I don't have to wear all those "layers."
I've found a new "favorite" protein bar from the makers of Trioplex which contains 300 kcals and has a good ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates. I've been using these for lunches and also having more protein shakes than normal. I find that when the weather turns nice it becomes harder to eat so these bars/shakes can help to keep those calories up.
Tomorrow I'm going to run another 12K and then rest up for hopefully a long run on Saturday or Sunday.
There is a 10K run in London to support Eating Disorders which I’m thinking about doing at the end of April. I wasn’t going to do any 10K races but this one is for a good cause so I’ll probably do it.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Training Update April 15/06

I did a nutrition talk at the Running Room this morning and it seemed to go well. I talked about my 5 point plan for weight loss and stimulated a good conversation within the group. This was the first of 3 talks that I'm scheduled to do for the Running Room.
This group consisted of walkers so my focus was primarily on weight loss/maintenance.
After the talk I did a 30K run along the Ajax Waterfront with a very experienced trail runner. This runner is training for a 100 MILE race so I'm hanging on every word he has so I can get some much needed help as I train for my 50K race later in the summer.
We finished the run in just about 3hours and my legs are a little tight but not too bad.
I'm hoping to get in another 10K run tomorrow morning.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Training update April 14.06

I decided to venture into the foreign world of weight training today. It's funny, I used to weight traing daily at 5AM but since I've discovered running I seem to be less interested in being inside to get my exercise. I did have a good 1 hour workout though and will try to get some rest as I have my long run tomorrow (34-36K). I'm also thankful that Quizno's is open on this holiday Friday as this is turning out to be a great way to keep my carbohydrates up.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

My First Marathon

It is a little less than 1 month away from my first marathon in Mississauga (May 14th) and I've been training hard for the past few months. I consider myself a Trail Runner first and a road runner second. Most of the people that I run with seem obsessed with qualifying for the Boston Marathon. For those not familiar, the Boston Marathon is considered the "crème de la crème" of Marathon races. Unlike other marathons, in order to race in this one you need to qualify by running under a certain time based on your age.
Although I like road races I don't have the desire that some of my friends do for Boston. In fact, I'm using the Mississauga Marathon as a "hurdle" for my REAL goal and that is to complete a 50K trail race before September of this year.
I thought I would use my blog as a way to keep myself and others motivated by posting my training and nutrition program. I will try to update this daily but for now I'll give a brief synopsis of my week so far.
I've run 33K so far this week (Mon, Wed, Thur) all at roughly a 5:20 pace. This burns anywhere from 900 to 1000 calories.
I run at 5AM and prefer this time to train as it works with my schedule at work. Sometimes I'll run in the afternoon if I can't get out of bed.
My current weight is 163 pounds and I'd like to enter the Mississauga Marathon at 155 pounds. My body fat is anywhere from 11-13% which I'm happy with. My typical eating pattern is as follows:
Pre-Run @ 4:40 AM, 1/2 banana with 1 cup of green tea
Post-Run one banana approximately 30 minutes after my run. This is followed by a protein shake with some berries and my Multi Vitamins
Breakfast: 4 egg whites with 1-2 tbsp. of feta cheese, one cup of oatmeal with peanut butter, cinnamon and splenda (don't knock it until you try it)
Lunch: I've been at work so it's been tough to get a "meal in" so I've been using protein shakes or protein bars (Trioplex, Zone Bars or Meso Tech)
Mid-Afternoon: I make this my biggest meal of the day as I'm working until 8:30 most nights. I'll either have have another bowl of oatmeal with some protein (chicken, turkey) or I'll have some Turkey Chili with red potatoes. I like to throw in some fruit (oranges, apples)
Dinner: Usually another shake or bar
After dinner: This tends to be the hard part. I'll eat some carbs as I need it for my run the next morning and this could come in the form of a bar or two, sometimes rice cakes, sometimes a protein shake with some peanut butter.
My total calories hover between 3000 and 3500 with approximately 50% being made up of carbohydrates.
I'll begin carbo loading today in preparation for my long run on either Friday or Saturday (32 to 36K). What this means is that I'll take in a little more carbohydrates and not as much protein. I'll also eliminate fiber from my diet as much as possible. I find that this practice works well for my body.
I did the Seaton Trail race last Saturday and was happy with my time of 2:43 for 26K. You can check out my pictures at:
My next race prior to Mississauga will be May 6th which is a 30K race called the Toronto Ultra Race.
Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

How to avoid "hitting the WALL!"

Marathon runners often use the term "hitting the wall" when they run out of energy near the end of a long race. There comes a point in a race when your energy reserves are empty and your body must rely on insufficient forms of energy to get you to the finish line.
This term also applies to people who are trying to lose those extra 5 or so pounds. It seems that no matter how many hours you exercise or how closely you monitor your calories those last few pounds take forever to come off. It is at this time that people look to "quick fixes" to try and get to their goal weight. DON'T BE ONE OF THEM!
Remember that you are trying to change your lifestyle NOT just looking for a quick way to get you to your goal at the expense of putting your health at risk.
Instead of dwelling on what needs to be accomplished, why not give yourself positive encouragement for what you HAVE accomplished. I'm not a fan of weight scales so for me I use measurements as a way to monitor my client’s progress. Also there are things that are going on inside your body that are more important than just those extra 5 pounds. You may have to re-examine your goals and look at other factors which may be hindering your progress such as stress, water consumption and sleeping.
It is important during this time to keep a positive outlook as it is easy to become irritated with your inability to reach your goal as quickly as you would like. When you realize that this is a lifelong journey it should take some of the pressure off. Also begin to see how much hard work you have put in already and give yourself a reward such as buying some new clothes or some new music or even a rest from the gym. When you return you may find yourself re-energized and well rested. Try to change up your routine as the body gets used to the same program after a few weeks. Above all else though, keep reminding yourself of how well you are doing and how far you have come!